Liam Tuck (pictured, left) has been named CLA/ Shooting Times Young Gamekeeper of the Year at the CLA Game Fair.

Liam, 25, runs the Sloughbrook shoot in West Sussex and impressed the judges with his strength of character, resourcefulness and maturity, Shooting Times editor Alastair Balmain said.

“Liam showed his determination to succeed by the way he gained his job – by attending a Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust evening and leaving a copy of CV on every chair.

“His careful eye on shoot finances is impressive and the enormous amount of effort he puts in to his job are clear from the shoot’s figures – returns of more than 50% for pheasants and 80% on mallard speak for themselves.”

Mr Balmain said it had been an extraordinarily difficult choice for the judges to select a winner.

Runners-up were Peter Holden from Bolton Hall in Lancashire’s Trough of Bowland, and Ben Carter (right in picture) from a private shoot in Somerset, where he saw off competition from 130 other applicants for what Mr Balmain called a “dream job”.

The competition had changed slightly from previous years to now recognise young gamekeeping talent, said Vincent Hedley-Lewis, chairman of the CLA Game Fair’s management board. “The best thing we can do is look to the future and identify some of the best young people coming through.”